Thomas G K recalls the beautiful memories from his trip to Wayanad a few months before last year's lockdown.
Our long awaited trip to Wayanad happened in January 2020, a few months before the lockdown.
We were a small group of six adults, including my mother, brothers and sister's family with two children.
We arranged a van for the 3 nights and 4 days trip and started the journey at 5 am from Kochi.
We stopped at Kottakkal for breakfast.
After entering the Calicut bypass road we switched on the music system.
While going up the ghat road (via Thamarassery Churam) our driver stopped at a view point so we could click some pictures.
By 12 noon we reached Wayanad.
Before going to the resort we took a break at Pookote lake and enjoyed a short walk.
Some other tourists were seen enjoying pedal boats in the clean lake.
My brother, who travelled from Bangalore on his Royal Enfield, had already reached the resort.
After lunch, my brother and I rode a few more kilometres to reach the Contour Island Resort and Spa where we had booked a cottage for 2 nights. The others joined us in the van.
The picturesque view of the sprawling Banasura Sagar Dam from the resort's balcony blew our minds away.
We enjoyed the scenic beauty and soft breeze there.
To get rid of the tiring feeling from the long journey all of us had a quick power nap.
The rest of the day was spent playing snooker, carom and planning the activities for the next day.
The following day we woke up at 5.30 am and set out for a forest safari by jeep to the Tholpetty Reserve Forest.
We were hoping to spot some rare animals but after driving for about two hours we saw a few sambar deer, spotted deer, giant squirrel, bisons etc....
After breakfast we drove to Kuruva island, an eco-tourism spot where we enjoyed bamboo rafting along with a forest guide. It was a quiet place with a minimal picnicking crowd.
The guide took us to the other side of the river by the raft and we could see the giant and wild bamboo tree on the island. (Entry to the island is restricted now).
After spending some time there some of us enjoyed a zip line ride.
We reached the resort in the afternoon and set out for a short walk to Banasura Sagar dam.
The close view of the dam was delightful and exciting.
All of us sat there for some time enjoying the fresh air and sunset view.
On Day 3, we checked out after breakfast and drove to the Edakkal caves.
We parked the van outside and walked towards the cave. There was a large crowd of visitors.
As we walked up the hill, on both sides of the walk way we could see monkeys staring at us. Climbing the mountain to reach the cave was an arduous task.
There were winding lanes of people in a queue.
When we reached the top, we were disappointed to realise that only the main entrance was open.
The interior of the cave was locked and entry was restricted.
We sat there for quite some time and struggled to get down the hill making our way past the thronging crowd.
Later we drove towards the Vayalveedu resort at Muthanga (known for its wildlife sanctuary) where we'd planned to spend the night.
Vayal Veedu is an isolated property, more like a farm stay.
There are four rooms in two villas sandwiched between paddy fields and vegetable plantations on three sides.
From our balcony we could see extensive paddy fields, ponds rich in fish farming and a mud football court.
With the assistance of a tribal guide we went for a short trek inside the forest.
Other than a couple of bisons lying under a shady tree, we did not get to see any interesting animals.
We played mud soccer for some time and also enjoyed a dip in the pond.
The next day, we woke up early, checked out after breakfast and reached Kochi by evening filled with memorable thoughts and images of Wonderful Wayanad.
Where would you go if you could 'holiday in your head'?
Which vacation would you recreate and why?